4 2000s Nollywood films about rape and sexual assault

"Last Girl Standing" and other Nollywood movies from the 2000s about rape and sexual assault.

Nollywood has made many films that explore the subject of rape, and for years, especially in the 90s and 2000s, most filmmakers failed to pay attention to the presentation of the subject and end up trivialising the it.

Very few films in that era explored the subject and the impact of being raped or falsely accused.

Pulse Movies has put together four films from the 90s and 2000s that  to an extent, explore the reality of rape.

1. "Slave to Lust"

In this 2007 film, a father becomes sexually attracted and obsessed with his adopted daughter, Natasha. He rapes her constantly, gets her pregnant and gets her to abort over three times.

"Slave to Lust" tells the story of many rape victims, who are abused by the least expected person in their lives. Their stories are often not believed by the society which thinks incestual rape isn't possible.

2. "Yet Another Day"

In "Yet Another Day," Ese is abused as a child by her uncle, Jonah, and all her effort to get her mum's attention is futile and perceived as a search for attention.

The movie serves as a reminder that children, who are affected by rape, are sometimes assaulted by a relative or someone they trust.

In the film, as Ese grows, she subconsciously accepts an incestuous relationship with her uncle. She sees sex as something to do for fun, devoid of emotions. Years after she was raped, she gets infected with AIDS by one of her sexual partners.

3. "The Price"

In an era of emotionally charged conversations about sexual harassment, the power to speak up is occasionally abused. For instance, in 2017, Jemma Beale was jailed for falsely accusing 15 men of raping her.

In "The Price," Pastor Ken played by Richard Mofe Damijo, is accused of raping and getting a young woman pregnant. He loses his wife, his position in the church, and he is tasked with taking care of his alleged child. Eventually, his accuser, Flora, comes forward to confess that she lied against him as she was scared of telling her parents about her pre-marital pregnancy.

"The Price" was one of the earlier films to promote a storyline that focused on false accusations and also the trauma that falsely accused men or women can face.

4. "Last Girl Standing"

In "Last Girl Standing," Lionel is a rapist who has abused over 13 girls. An aspiring footballer, he has just signed a deal with an England club when one of his victims, Thilda, reports him to the police and halts his travel plans.

They are family friends and so his father tries to convince Thilda's family to forgive his son. Lionel apologises to the family and after they have forgiven him, he privately taunts Thilda for being "trash."

An angry and hurt Thilda decides to take him to the court. She wins the case and he is sent to prison. After hours of tackling the issue of rape in Nigeria, the film trivialises it in its last minutes when Thilda's mum tells her husband that she feels bad for Lionel and wishes they had settled an issue as sensitive as rape amongst themselves as family friends.

The fact that other victims of Lionel, including one of Thilda's friends, were afraid to report their assault is a reflection on the stigma that exists in our society, where victims are afraid to come forward out of fear that they won’t be believed or might be slut-shamed.

In "Last Girl Standing," Thilda's mum was against her taking the case to court because people 'would talk.' She was also worried about her narrating the gory details of her assault in a public court. There's also the scene where Thilda was blamed by stranger for her rape because she 'went to a man's house pantless.'

A scene which was suppose to serve as a reminder that men and boys can also be affected by rape lost its relevance in this particular movie when it was used as an excuse for Lionel's actions. In the final scene, he blames his female classmates who raped him when he was 13 for the man he eventually became.

Victim blaming is a very real issue that many rape victims deal with, and it’s important to tell their stories, and to remember, while telling these stories, that no one ever asks for — no matter what.

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